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This Week at the Center: September 29, 2014

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This week at the Center we’ve been celebrating and expanding our implementations of blended learning at Columbia. We are currently reflecting on some recent success stories with the flipped classroom model.

Blended learning can take many forms. The flipped classroom model is one that generally involves moving lecture material to video installments that students view before class, thereby freeing up class time for collaborative learning activities that give instructors and students real-time feedback on students’ understanding of the content.

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September has brought two gratifying endorsements of the Center’s work in this area, one from a faculty member and one from a student. In a recent article, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons professor Rachel Gordon described Just in Time Teaching, the technique she used in flipping her 250-student course on Body, Health, and Disease this past spring, as “a successful and powerful learning approach” that she plans to use again.

Similarly, student Anna Demidova singled out the Center’s blended learning implementations in a recent Columbia Spectator essay on measures the University can take to better meet the needs of economically disadvantaged students. Demidova suggests that the work of the Center - blending technology and traditional instruction techniques - ensures that students with challenging work schedules are still able to experience important learning interactions with their instructors and peers.

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We also demonstrated key blended learning tools and techniques to the nearly 100 faculty and administrators who attended our Fall Premieres at the Morningside CUMC campuses this month. Those tools and techniques will be the focus of our popular rewirED faculty workshops coming in October this fall.

In the coming year, the Center’s educational technologists will be working to help even more faculty members experiment with blended learning; collaborating on flipping lectures and using technology in the classroom. For example, we have begun a yearlong pilot of flipped classroom techniques and tools with instructors in the Frontiers of Science course, which is part of Columbia’s Core Curriculum.

You can also check out our classic profile here on Flipping the Biochemistry Classroom with professor Brent Stockwell.

Also from This Week
The September 17 launch of Eric Foner’s Civil War and Reconstruction MOOC, Columbia’s first with EdX, has been extremely well received, with more than 6500 students enrolled.

Coming Up
Center staff will host an edition of our Fall Premiere at Jewish Theological Seminary on September 30.

Faculty rewirED workshops will be Tuesdays at CUMC, and Wednesdays at Morningside, starting the week of October 7th.